A faraway name for a place that's quintessentially Chester County
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. Just the name London Britain is a lure, but what awaits you after an almost 50-mile trip from central Philadelphia to this township is classic Chester County.
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities.
Just the name London Britain is a lure, but what awaits you after an almost 50-mile trip from central Philadelphia to this township is classic Chester County.
To say London Britain is spread out is an understatement.
There are neighborhoods here. Strickersville, for example, has been described by one website as something out of Leave It to Beaver, the late 1950s and early 1960s television show.
If you want to see a real beaver, however, you may be able to do so in the 1,255-acre White Clay Creek Park, which the DuPont Co. donated in 1984 to preserve "the diverse and unique plant and animal species, and the rich cultural heritage of the area."
London Britain is about as south as one can go in Pennsylvania without crossing the Mason-Dixon Line. So if you're thinking about a commute, think Wilmington, since you'd have to travel along I-95 to get to London Britain from Philadelphia.
Another caveat: When searching online for houses for sale here, be sure that you're looking in this community of 3,100 along the Maryland and Delaware borders rather than in that much-larger, more familiar place across the Atlantic.
In these parts, eight houses were sold in the third quarter of 2016, down from 12 in the same period a year before.
The median sale price of a house during the July 1-Sept. 30 period this year was $462,500, up 25.9 percent from $367,250 in 2015's third quarter. (Median is the middle number: Half the houses sold for more, half for less.)
In the first nine months of this year, 25 houses were sold in London Britain, compared with 34 last year and 24 in the first nine months of 2014.
The median sale price in the first nine months was $386,000, compared with $363,500 in the same period of 2015 and $385,500 between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2014.
For Chester County as a whole, the median price for the first nine months of 2016 was $315,000, based on 5,293 sales - 46 more than last year, with a slight bump in sale prices ($1,000) reflecting the lack of inventory that has been affecting the real estate market here and the rest of the country.
Most of the 979 houses in London Britain are owner-occupied, with just 64 listed as rentals.
Homes for sale range in price from $2.75 million to $300,000 (a foreclosure slated for auction), with lots for sale ranging from $700,000 for 5.40 acres to $125,000 for 1.10 acres.
That $2.75 million property is Bryn Awel Farm, which was built in 1730, sits on 32 acres, and was fully restored between 2003, when it was sold for $1.55 million, and 2012, when the bank barn was converted to entertaining space.
Taxes in 2015 on the house, which has been on the market for 200 days (average is 134 days), were $24,358, township records show.
The lowest-priced house that is not a foreclosure - there is only one distressed property for sale - is a three-bedroom, two-bath, 2,198-square-foot Cape Cod-style on just under an acre going for $314,900. Property taxes are $5,076 a year, township records show.
The majority of houses on the market in London Britain are priced between $300,000 and $800,000.
Recent sales ranged from $187,000 for a bank repossession - a three-bedroom, two-bath, 2,352-square-foot home on 1.2 acres that originally sold for $258,000 - to a four-bedroom, 7.5-bath, 6,747-square-foot house on 4.7 acres, built in 2004, that sold for $873,500.
Most of the last 122 sales in the township ranged from $375,000 to $800,000, the data show.
The Avon Grove School District, which London Britain shares with four townships and the Boroughs of Avondale and West Grove, is a magnet for home buyers, including a large number of corporate employees relocating to the Philadelphia-Wilmington area.
"I do a lot of relocation business," says Jill Callahan, an agent with Coldwell Banker Preferred in Media, "with people coming from all over the country to work in Newark and Wilmington, and even in Philadelphia.
"Their goal is Avon Grove," Callahan says.
"It is a good district, among the top 100 in the state," says Barbara M. Mastronardo, associate broker with Weichert Realtors in Media.